Fifteen minutes before sunrise, thin fog appears and disappears. A few wood thrush notes. A chestnut-sided warbler’s “Pleased to meetcha!”
Rain and warblers. An earth-shaking blast from the quarry two miles away. The soft susurrus of tree crickets.
Cloudy with 100% chance of migrating warblers: the yard is briefly possessed. I hear a noise, turn my head and meet a rabbit’s critical gaze.
I am mentally marking walnut saplings for removal when they fill with migrants: yellow-rumped and palm warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet.
Sun! The meadow glows goldenrod-yellow. Birch leaves at the woods’ edge tremble with warblers. A mosquito sings her thirsty note in my ear.
Small birds flit through the tops of the locust trees—migrating warblers, no doubt. Birds of passage. Every now and then the cricket pauses.
Breezy and cool. Three phoebes hawk for insects along the woods’ edge while a young pine or blackpoll warbler flits through the goldenrod.
A new bloom of gnats—I saw them swarming by the back door—and the yard is full of fall warblers, foraging with the chickadees and titmice.
Too dark to identify the small birds darting through the forest canopy. A walnut dislodged by a squirrel thumps hard against the ground.
The trees were full of warblers just before I came out, the resident naturalist informs me. Walnut leaves flutter down like shed feathers.
Another gloomy day brightened by a mixed flock of birds foraging at the woods’ edge, visitors tagging after locals to find the best spots.
Cold, overcast and dreary. A warbler on migration-layover darts through the porch, inches from my face—a flash of black and yellow.
Every morning more shards of ridge-top sky are visible through the trees. In the black birch’s yellow crown, yellow-rumped warblers.
Were there really just two of them? Now every yellow birch leaf trembling in the breeze looks like another migrant warbler.